Axel Kei made history Friday night in the USL Championship, the second tier in the United States. The thirteen-year-old (!) Forward made his debut as a substitute for the Utah Real Monarchs in the game against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. He became the youngest professional athlete of all time in an American sport.
Kei made his debut after an hour replacing US international Bobby Wood, who is more than twice his age. The very young substitute, aged exactly 13 years, 9 months and 9 days at the time of his debut, had the chance to score the only goal of the game with five minutes remaining. However, a Colorado Springs defenseman put a stop to it, leaving him 0-0 in Herriman, Utah.
Kei was born in Ivory Coast, but his family moved to California when he was young and now plays in the youth ranks of the Major League Soccer Real Salt Lake team; Real Monarchs is the reserve team of this club. He was called up to a youth training camp in the United States in February 2019. This summer he helped his team as the top scorer in the MLS Next Cup for under-15 teams. Despite his age, Kei is already 1.85 meters tall.
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